Do you know that our baby is now almost 2???? I can’t quite believe it. He is the number five child in our family and is our last child. I think he has grown up too fast! He loves doing everything the older kids do and especially so when it comes to eating.
I have started all my kids on homemade baby food – steamed veggies pureed when they are first introduced to solids. I then move to casserole style dishes with meat and some herbs to give the little ones some added flavour. My babies have all been introduced to meat around 6 -7 months and it is something they have all loved.
Number 5 lasted only a short time eating “baby” food as he was keen to have a go at what everyone else was eating. Before he reached one, he was eating exactly what the rest of the family was eating. It was actually easier for me to do this than to battle with him and try to get him to eat something different. It just meant I had to think a bit more about what meals he would be able to eat independently, because he certainly didn’t want my help.
This is where meat comes into play. Our toddler has a healthy appetite but he doesn’t eat big amounts at each meal. Although I don’t post too many pictures of him on the blog, from those I have you can tell he is very slight in build. Feeding him frequent meat based meals gives me sense of comfort he is getting the nutrients he needs for his brain and body development. I know iron, zinc and protein can be found in vegetables, but I would need him to eat so much more to get the recommended daily intake (RDI). Serve him up a beef stir fry, where the first thing he picks out is the beef and it is so much easier for me to make sure he is getting enough iron in his diet. You can see my recipe for the beef stir fry here.
Other meals which have been great for every one including the toddler to eat with ease, have been slow cooker roasts. The meat is so tender and easy for him to eat. He can use his fork to pick up the meat, although he is still fond of using fingers on occasions!
Roasts also have the added bonus of left over potential. Cold roast meat goes well in sandwiches for lunch or even as a simple finger food snack through out the day. I am completely sold on slow cooker roasts and highly recommend you try them, here are a couple of super easy favourites in our house:
Something that I didn’t know about meat until I visited The Main Meal website was that meat is also a great source of Omega-3 for brain and visual development. The Main Meal website also has a great PDF brochure you can download called Making every bite count! which contains nutrition info and great basic recipes that are perfect for little ones and are also meals adults are happy to eat.
Do you have recipes that toddlers and adults love?